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Dec 25, 2013 05:22 AM

Udine, whaty are the local dishes indigenous to this area of North East Italy?

We are going to Udine in Fruili-Venezia Giulia,January; other than the wines, San Daniele Prosciutto, and cjarsons what are the other regional foods of this area. Also any recs on osterie in Udine?
Boun Natale a tutti!!!

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  1. I highly recommend you invest in a copy o Fred Plotkin's Italy for the Gourmet Traveler if you don't already own it and also his book on Friuli-Venezia-Giulia specifically: La Terra Fortunata. It goes into loving detail about the unique dishes of the region and their history. The chef Lidia Bastianich is from the region it is worthwhile to peruse her cookbooks and do some googling for her recipes from that area to familiarize yourself with the specialties.

    Udine is a wonderful food town that is central to the region . It has fantastic high quality food shops and a very energetic and theatrically situated outdoor market where you can see for yourself what is in season. The shops and vendors of Udine will carry items from many nearby towns and also food from the mountain towns and the sea.

    In addition to San Daniele Proscuitto you might want to try the smoked trout of San Daniele or Speck di Sauris and the d'Osvaldo proscuitto of Cormons if you prefer cured meats. For me the incomparable taste treat of the region is smoked ricotta which -- while available elsewhere -- never reaches the heights of glory elsewhere that it reaches in that part of Italy. Also be aware that probably no two preparations of cjarsons are alike so try more than one if you can.

    There is a wonderful baked fruity sweet roll from nearby Civedale called "gubana". I had a delicious sampling of it in Udine however (in one of its many well-used caffes).

    You can add to the restaurant recommendations you find in Plotkin's books those of the Osterie d'Italia guide. It is not easy to find a lot of information about the region online but if you do enough googling for "cucina Friuli" and "cucina Udinese" or "ricette Friuli" you can learn a lot in advance about unfamiliar dishes and see pictures (some of these sites are in English too).

    Have a great time. Dress warmly! It is very easy and speedy to drive around the region (although you must watch the weather forecasts in January) so you can have a very wide experience of the fascinating food and the eating culture (which is robust and highly varied).

    3 Replies
    1. re: barberinibee

      Thank you for your information, and the time you took to write it! I have Fred Plotkin's book, (both editions), your info really has added to his overview. We will be in FVG in about 8 days for the month of Jan.
      Again many thanks for your insight!

      1. re: ospreycove

        My pleasure. When I think about places in Italy that I would be excited to revisit for food and wine, and spend many days there, FVG and Udine in particular jumps to the top of the list. Hope you get to Gorizia too, and on a future trip, Trieste.

      2. re: barberinibee

        We spent 2 weeks in FVG and the Veneto this past September and found both Plotkin's book and Osterie & Locande D'Italia to be wonderful resources. One osteria I'd recommend is Antica Osteria All'Unione in Cormons. We had two delightful dinners there. The owners, Pino Pecorella and his wife Giovanna, could not have been more welcoming. I don't recall ever looking at a menu; Giovanna asked us a few questions about our likes and dislikes, and we let her make our menu selections. After dinner, Pino (the chef) and Giovanna sat down with us and shared some of their "personal recipe" grappa with us. Totally enjoyable!

      3. This old article of mine in the NY Times travel section describes a number of traditional dishes:

        It's a wonderful area from many points of view, not least the unusual foods.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mbfant

          Great article Maureen! It brings back wonderful memories of our trip to Cormons a few years ago, where we ate at some of the places you reviewed.

          In addition to the d'Osvaldo products, I would also recommend the cheese and yogurt produced by the Zoff family in Cormons.

          There is also a bakery very near the enoteca in Cormons that makes a wonderful cookie with an unfortunate name: Claps. We loved them so much we shipped a tin of them home!

        2. I also learned a lot about the food of this area from Fred Plotkin's "La Terra Fortunata". Montasio cheese and "frico'" are a must.